Kingsman: The Secret Service was a fun spy action film that made Taron Egerton a star. It was only inevitable that there would be another film and here it is. The first film was so well received that hopefully it doesn’t go the way of other disappointing sequels.
Synopsis: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents’ strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy. (20th Century Fox)
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Julianne Moore
Writers: Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn
Director: Matthew Vaugn
Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 141mins
For showtimes and more, check out Kingsman: The Golden Circle on movietimes.com.
The first Kingsman film was a nice surprise when it was originally released back in 2014 but with this success comes lofty expectations. This is the case with most sequels in general where there is always the temptation to go bigger, however, bigger isn’t necessarily better. This sequel goes bigger and as a result, somewhat loses some of the charm of the original. This doesn’t make this a bad film by any means, it just doesn’t quite match up to the previous film.
The trailers pretty much gave most of the plot away but for those who haven’t seen it, the Kingsman have been pushed to the brink of extinction thanks to the evil drug lord Poppy Adams (Moore). Because of this, the Kingsman join forces with the Statesman, the American version of Kingsman. The film plays with the obvious cultural differences between both organizations in a fun way but they were not that much different from each other.
When compared to the previous film, this one checks all the right boxes. There’s a lot of style involved, plenty of over the top spy action, an incredibly silly story which fans of the previous film will surely enjoy. While it was all fun to watch, it wasn’t the same for whatever reason. With a bigger film comes more production values but there was a little too much going on here and was overproduced in certain regards to the point that it didn’t have the same impact.
The story wasn’t as strong either. The previous film’s villain, played by Samuel L. Jackson, was a memorable one, however, this was not the case here. This film’s villain, Poppy Adams, showed promise but was ultimately underutilized here because of everything else going on. The film is also slightly too long with unnecessary subplots to accommodate the larger cast for this film, featuring the likes of Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, and Jeff Bridges.
Probably the worst kept secret in a long time was the fate of Kingsman agent Harry Hart (Firth). The film addresses this early on and it was definitely nice to see him back. The relationship between the remaining members of Kingman, Eggsy (Egerton), Merlin (Mark Strong), and Hart, was the best part of the film. Even with the new team this time around, the film was about them and were compelling to watch.
The acting was good all around with everyone providing solid performances with the core cast’s chemistry always making them fun to watch regardless of what was going on. Egerton was still good as Eggsy but was better in the previous film. Firth was asked to do more here and handled it more than adequately. Moore still managed to chew scenery as the 50s obsessed drug lord despite being an underwritten character. All the newcomers were fine, however, most will remember Elton John’s scene-stealing performance as himself.
Overall, this film goes bigger but wasn’t necessarily better in not quite recreating the surprise of the first film. It was still a very entertaining sequel while offering a new perspective for the spy series and leaving the door open for inevitable future films.